Mediterranean Light: Delicious Recipes from the World's Healthiest Cuisine


The cuisines of the Mediterranean are famous for taking humble ingredients and transforming them into savory masterpieces. Finding inspiration in every region of the Mediterranean basin, from the ever-popular dishes of France, Italy, and Spain to the more exotic fare of North Africa and the Middle East, Martha Rose Shulman offers innovative recipes that use less olive oil and other high-fat ingredients while retaining every drop of sun-drenched flavor.

The results: meatless yet ...

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The cuisines of the Mediterranean are famous for taking humble ingredients and transforming them into savory masterpieces. Finding inspiration in every region of the Mediterranean basin, from the ever-popular dishes of France, Italy, and Spain to the more exotic fare of North Africa and the Middle East, Martha Rose Shulman offers innovative recipes that use less olive oil and other high-fat ingredients while retaining every drop of sun-drenched flavor.

The results: meatless yet hearty pasta sauces; refreshing salads of beans, grains, and vegetables; sizzling grilled fish dishes; aromatic chicken stews; refreshing fresh fruit desserts; virtually fat-free renditions of ratatouille and hummus; and updated, slimmed-down versions of traditional classics like paella, salade Nicoise, and lasagne. These satisfying recipes will become the cornerstone of a long-lasting commitment to healthful eating.

Delicious recipes from the world's healthiest cuisine.

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Editorial Reviews

Colman Andrews
Martha Rose Shulman thinks her dishes through, tells charming stories about their provenance, and offers a wealth of practical advice. —Saveur
Patricia Wells
Like Martha, her food is wholesome, happy, unpretentious, and filled with energy. This is one of her finest works yet, a book that sings of the sun.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
These dietetic-but-not-dull recipes, culled from Shulman's friends and fellow cooks, feature Italian, Greek, Middle Eastern and Southern French cuisines. Using relatively little olive oil, few fats and lean chicken and rabbit, Shulman (Supper Club Chez Martha Rose) "lightens'' traditional fare. She claims that these recipes are designed for slow, steady weight loss, and, without putting forward a program of exercise, promises that "you won't gain the weight back.'' That's a strong claim for a diet cookbook that doesn't always specify exact portions for each dish. (Any 1200- to 1500-calorie-per-day diet requires strict portion control.) Dieters may be misled. For example, Shulman suggests eating bread with meals, but portion sizes are not in every instance listed clearly above each recipe's nutrient analysis. And ample menus--one includes crostini with porcini mushrooms, pasta e fagioli, swiss chard, a small green salad, and oranges with mint, plus one slice of bread, yielding approximately 830 calories--could lead easily to overindulgence. (May)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688174675
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/28/2000
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 571,722
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.08 (d)

Meet the Author

Martha Rose Shulman is an award-winning author of nine cookbooks, including Mediterranean Light, Mexican Light, Provencal Light, The Vegetarian Feast, and Entertaining Light. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

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Read an Excerpt

Warm Chick-Pea Salad

Makes 6 servings

One of my favorite ways to prepare chick-peas, this makes a very satisfying lunch or dinner, especially during winter. You can substitute canned chick peas for the dried beans.


For the Salad
2 cups dried chick-peas, washed and picked over, or
3 19-ounce cans chick-peas, drained and rinsed
6 cups water
4 scallions, chopped, or 1 small red onion, chopped
4 radishes, sliced
1 green or red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan or Cheddar cheese

For the Yogurt Vinaigrette:
Juice of 1 large lemon
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 small garlic clove, minced or put through a press
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
freshly ground pepper
leaf lettuce, washed and dried


Prepare the Salad:
Pick over the beans, wash, and soak for several hours or overnight in 6 cups water. Drain and place in a large pot with 6 cups fresh water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat. Cook 1 to 2 hours, until soft, adding salt to taste halfway through the cooking.

If you're using canned beans: drain, rinse, and heat through.

Drain the cooked beans and toss with the scallions, radishes, red or green pepper, parsley, and grated cheese.

Prepare the Yogurt Vinaigrette:
Mix all ingredients well and use immediately or set aside at room temperature.

Toss the chick-pea mixture with the yogurt vinaigrette and season with freshly ground pepper to taste.Serve warm on individual plates or from a bowl lined with lettuce leaves.

Nutrition Facts (Per Portion):

Calories: 283
Fat: 5 G
Sodium:127 MG
Protein: 16 G
Carbohydrate: 45 G
Cholesterol: 3 MG

Grilled Swordfish with Capers, Lemon, and Garlic

Makes 4 Servings

The inspiration for this dish comes from one served at Villa Cheta in Acquafredda on the south coast of Italy. After three deliciously filling first courses—sardines with lemon and mint, crostini with peppers and chicken livers and a marvelous minestrone—these thin, vibrantly seasoned grilled swordfish steaks arrived, and who could resist? The chef used anchovies and oil in sauce, but I think capers, lemon juice, and garlic make a nice, simple condiment for the tasty swordfish. Have the steaks cut thin and don't grill them for a second too long.


4 1/2-inch-thick swordfish steaks, 4 to 6 ounces each
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 to 2 garlic cloves (to taste), minced
2 heaped tablespoons capers
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Prepare a grill or preheat the broiler. Brush the swordfish steaks on both sides with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and lightly salt and pepper.

Pound the garlic in a mortar and pestle and add the capers. Mash together with the garlic and add the lemon juice and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Blend together well. Season to taste with pepper.

Grill the fish or broil 3 to 4 inches from the flame for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes on each side. Don't cook any longer, or the fish will be too dry. Remove from the heat. Spoon the caper/lemon mixture over each steak. Serve hot or allow to cool and serve. Chill leftovers and serve cold or at room temperature the next day.

Nutrition Facts (Per Portion):

Calories: 219
Fat: 10 G
Sodium:265 MG
Protein: 28 G
Carbohydrate: 2 G
Cholesterol: 55 MG

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  • Posted December 21, 2011

    Easy, flavorful recipes

    Many of our family's favorite recipes come from this book. Her explanations are easy to follow and recipes are always flavorful without an inordinate number of ingredients. This is the book that got me making risotto from scratch!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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